A 14-year-old named Caleb Prewitt who has Down syndrome and lives in Jacksonville, Florida, had never really looked forward to exercise.
The young man could barely swim across a pool, ride a bike without assistance, and did not think much of a treadmill, according to CBS News.
His mother, Karen, told the outlet’s Steve Hartman a triathlon was not on her list of things for Caleb to accomplish.
However, that changed after Caleb met 21-year-old Chris Nikic. When asked if he liked him at their first meeting, Caleb said, “Yes, I did,” and described Chris as “super cool.”
#EverybodyMatters#BeautifulActsROLE MODEL INSPIRES BOY WITH DOWN SYNDROME TO FINISH MINI-TRIATHLONBy Steve…
In 2020, Chris became the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon, swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running a 26.2 mile marathon.
Chris said in an Instagram post:
IRONMAN. Goal set and achieved. Time to set a new and BIGGER Goal for 2021. Whatever it is the strategy is the same. 1% Better every day. YES, I did the work but I had angels helping me. God surrounded me with Angels. Best part of all. New family and friends.
According to Karen, if there was a poster with him on it, it would be hanging in Caleb’s bedroom.
Following their initial meeting, Chris became his fan’s mentor and the two young men worked out together, which eventually developed into a dream.
“Just the fact that he was so warm and inspiring helped Caleb realize that these are things that I can do, too,” Karen commented.
Caleb recently completed his first mini-triathlon and is believed to be the youngest person with Down syndrome to ever accomplish it. In addition, he got an invitation to compete on Florida’s Special Olympics triathlon team, which is also Chris’s team.
Please tune in tonight to CBS news at 6:50ish pm!!On the Road with Steve Hartman is going to be featuring Caleb…
When asked if he wanted to be like his role model, Caleb told Hartman, “Yes.”
“I think you are like Chris,” Hartman added.
“What? Oh my God! Yes!” he replied enthusiastically.
“Is that like the best compliment you’ve ever received?” Hartman asked the young man.
“Oh, yes,” Caleb told him.